December 16, 2020

I have a zero-shame policy in my classes, because I believe that students learn better when it’s safe to make mistakes – including the “mistake” of accidentally losing focus.

I imagine every student through the eyes of their classmates, and do what I can to minimize embarrassment. In practice, that includes rewarding bravery, repeating directions, and recognizing the logic behind wrong answers.

The safer it is to be wrong, the easier it is to self-advocate. My students feel comfortable asking, “Could you repeat the question?” or “Could you explain it again?” because they know I’m on their side.

Sometimes you can’t tell how hard students are trying. I choose to trust that they’re trying their best.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.